Even as a self-confessed avid follower of such celebrity trials as O.J. Simpson, Paris Hilton and Brittany Spears, I cannot remember a criminal affidavit that literally made my jaw drop in shock and horror.


Even as a self-confessed avid follower of such celebrity trials as O.J. Simpson, Paris Hilton and Brittany Spears, I cannot remember a criminal affidavit that literally made my jaw drop in shock and horror.
In all of my four battle-scarred decades of bare-knuckled political and public service in Louisiana, D.C., and across America, I could never have imagined reading, from the first paragraph to the 100th, a more arrogant, irrational, obscene and obscenity-filled case of hubris run rampant. My friend Stephen, a noted lawyer in California, told me to read the entire affidavit. I did. It was the most scandalous thing ever.
Stephen was right. What in the name of all that is holy made Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich think he could put a U.S. Senate seat on the auction block?
There’s only one answer: hubris.
This is more than a stain on the good people of Illinois who elected this governor. It threatens President-elect Barack Obama, whom Blagojevich calls by an obscene name that is an insult to all mothers. If a man is known by his enemies, then Obama must take great pride in Blagojevich’s sour view of him and his staff.
“I have never spoken to the governor” regarding who will replace him in the Senate, an “appalled and disappointed” Obama stated at a press conference Thursday. Furthermore, Obama firmly stated, he is “absolutely certain” no one in his office had anything to do with the scandal.
It appears U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, the brilliant government lawyer who took on the Bush administration in the Valerie Plame fiasco, wanted to get Blagojevich out of office before he could appoint his highest bidder to the Senate seat or execute additional corrupt acts.
Given all the audiotapes that capture the governor’s pay-for-play philosophy and negotiations, Fitzgerald should have no trouble establishing a conspiracy and proving Blagojevich’s guilt. Of course, like every American citizen, the governor is innocent until proven guilty. But one can imagine the verdict by a jury of constituents who have listened their governor exclaim with heartfelt emotion: “The Senate seat is a “f—-ing valuable thing! You just don’t give it away for nothing!”
Blagojevich is toast. But he is not my concern.
Come January, this country has a lot of important work to do. We do not have the luxury of playing the old-school political game of “what did the president know and when did he know it” for four years. Heck, we don’t have the luxury of playing those old-school politics, period.
The last thing the president-elect and the American people need right now is to become distracted by a scandal-tarred governor who should immediately abdicate his office and allow Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn to appoint someone to serve the remaining four years of Obama’s term in the Senate.
A dead man walking, Blagojevich has ignored Obama’s repeated calls for him to step down and the warning from Senate Leader Harry Reid that the Senate will not let him appoint a new senator.
I couldn’t care less about the corrupt governor demanding kickbacks he never had a snowball’s chance in hell of extracting — except maybe in the befuddled imagination of a “Candidate No. 5” supporter, who allegedly offered to raise “$500,000 or even a million dollars” in campaign contributions for the governor in exchange for a Senate appointment.
In this post-Watergate political landscape, the party out of power always nurses pipedreams of a scandal bringing down the administration of its opposition. Republicans are at this very moment working nonstop to try and connect dots that just do not exist.
As a nation, we simply cannot afford to go down the rabbit hole with them. We cannot afford another partisan Whitewater-style witch hunt designed to unseat a president. This will not only distract Obama and Congress, it will also be a drain on the funds, resources and focus needed to pull the country out of its economic freefall.
The problems we face as a nation  —  two wars, a record deficit, our financial and auto industries in crisis, health care in need of urgent reform, a national recession teetering on the edge of a full-blown depression and  a global recession  —  do not allow for any such partisan foolishness.
Let us hope that a partisan web of Chicago-style old politics is not woven to trap and ensnare our newly elected president. If members of a certain party are spinning plans for one, then they will be caught in their own device. And it won’t be pretty.
Meanwhile, Blagojevich is finished in politics. And that is something to celebrate this holiday season.

Donna Brazile is a political commentator on CNN, ABC and NPR; contributing columnist to Roll Call, the newspaper of Capitol Hill; and former campaign manager for Al Gore.